Cyprus Mail

Tanker damaged new Vassilikos jetty

By Angelos Anastasiou
A tanker damaged a jetty at Vassilikos port when it crashed into the trestle after unloading its gasoil cargo in VTT Vassiliko company’s storage tanks, the company said.
“In its effort to depart the port under extreme weather conditions, the tanker struck and damaged the jetty’s access frame,” a statement by VTT Vassiliko said.
According to the statement, a preliminary evaluation of the incident revealed that part of the jetty’s trestle, but not the oil pipelines, was damaged.
“Full evaluation of the damage will be carried out once weather conditions allow,” the company said. “This is expected to be on Thursday.”
After sustaining minor damage, the tanker was safely towed away from the jetty and anchored 2.5 kilometres away.
“No oil leaks or injuries have been incurred by the incident,” VTT Vassiliko said.
VTT Vassiliko’s oil-storage terminal, comprising 28 fuel-storage tanks that can accommodate over 540,000 cubic metres of cargo and a four-berth loading and unloading jetty, was inaugurated in November 2014 and represents a capital investment of €300 million.
Monday’s incident brings the issue of health and safety risks, stemming from the government’s vision of setting up an “energy hub” at Vassilikos area, which would accommodate VTT Vasiliko’s premises, all of Cyprus’ strategic oil reserves, and an LNG terminal (plans for which are currently on hold), back to the forefront.
Residents in surrounding villages have expressed serious reservations with regard to the prospect of concentrating so many potentially hazardous industries in the same location, with a focus on environmental and health and safety risks.
Questions have also been raised in connection with crisis-management operational capabilities and planning, especially with regard to the fire service (the closest fire station is in Kofinou, a 20-minute drive away under normal circumstances) and civil defence rapid-response scenarios.

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